Who doesn’t love Red Bull sports? As a keen mountain bike trail rider I really enjoy all the media they put out and none more so than the Red Bull Hardline mountain bike event.
For those who haven’t seen the event I suggest you check it out. Think Welsh mist drifting across a huge downhill run, jumps the size of double-decker buses, drops across roads and rock gardens, all to the sound track of chainsaws! The event was held in Wales this year and the course was designed and built by Dan Atherton and his team. There were some brutal jumps and drops and the north Wales weather kept everyone on their toes. The size of the jumps were insane only matched by the skills of the riders.
Craig Evans won the event with a ridiculously quick run. Followed closely by Bernard Kerr and course designer Dan Atherton in third place. All the riders deserve props but there can only be one winner, so it’s Craig that I’ve illustrated on his Santa Cruz v10. Craig rides in black and green but for this I wanted to reflect Red Bull’s event as well so I went with their infamous blue, yellow and red.
The Type for this had to be BIG and BOLD it’s shouting out over the din of the chainsaws and it’s coming straight for you!
I wanted to illustrate the speed that these guys are travelling at but at the same time didn’t want to blur anything out so I’ve gone for a super sharp stop frame. Adding the dust, grit and gravel kicking up and drifting off the rider really helps with the effect of it being a single instance captured in the moment.
Here are some details…
This is an illustration I’ve had in my mind for years – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Being both a book and a movie, and a movie again it is a story that has been imagined and re-imagined so many times. I wanted to see what my representation of it would be, so whilst based on Rooney Mara’s Lisbeth, I wanted to take it further and create a new version of her with my style.
It was really about the tattoo, so that was where I started. I first remember drawing dragons like this as child, it’s obviously from all the Chinese dragons I’d seen growing up and especially every year in china town. I think my first proper ones though were a giant silk wall hanging I painted for my uncle in Singapore when I was bout 12. To be honest the design of the dragon hasn’t changed much over the years although this is much more aggressive in it’s posture and expression – a proper bad ass. It’s also a whole lot more detailed and I can draw scales a bit better now, all in all I’d say it’s a lot better than my 12 year-old self’s attempt – as you’d hope!
Whilst it took a long time drawing Lisbeth and her tattoo, I spent almost as much time on the lettering as I did on the rest of the drawing. I really wanted to make the typography an integral part of the illustration, not just an addition slapped on at the end. So various incarnations of the smoke and how it became the lettering as well as under and over ‘punking’ the letter forms until I felt it was the perfect balance!
As usual it’s the little additions of the lighting that really make it come to life and make the colours work.
Check out some details below and if you’d like to see a video of the tattoo check out my instagram here
I’ve been really enjoying creating alternative movie posters for the likes of Kong: Skull Island and Baby Driver. They’ve been so well received by both the studios, directors and fans, it’s hard to believe!
This one is less of an alternative movie poster and more of a piece of fan art. I also enjoyed playing around with creating a very basic clip of the different images I used to create it. I decided that as I wanted to explore the image and characters fully I’d fully illustrate both and make their main facial features align. This way I could use both separately or together. It seemed like the best way to represent them as two leaders who are both mirroring each other as leaders and visionaries for their respective groups. Saying that Woody Harrelson does a great depiction of the Colonel with a certain madness in his eyes!
It was challenging to get Caesar and Woody Harrelson to look right and correlate, but I think that the effect is worth it. It was also interesting working in such a dark colour way.
Here are a few shots…
It is so great to see that Edgar Wright has chosen to use illustration for the official promotional art for Baby Driver. So I am super excited to see that Edgar Wright, Working Title and Sony Pictures working with PosterSpy on this creative brief for alternative posters.
It was a big challenge as I really wanted to create something that captured the essence of the movie. At the same time I wanted to create something different from the official art. I love the Baby Driver official art and would have gone down a very similar route if I hadn’t already seen it. It’s so well put together and versatile with the different elements, that I really think it’s pretty much perfect. So my one major concern was to make it different enough from all the other posters being produced.
The film is so punchy and stylish I had to really pare down what I wanted to represent. There were so many options, but I finally went with Baby’s sunglasses as the device to bring together all the characters. Then replacing the toy car with the Dodge Challenger Hellcat SRT used in the escape car chase came as a natural way of bringing in the story.
There is a lot of attention from the studios, cast and Edgar Wright himself, and I was super star struck when I saw that he had retweeted my poster. It’s great to see how many people engaged with it and were really digging it. The film itself is receiving nothing short of stellar reviews across the board, and deservedly so!
Baby Driver’s soundtrack on it’s own is immense. Combined with Edgar’s trademark punctuated style and amazing cast’s performances it really is the complete package. It was great to be a part of another stand out collection from PosterSpy. With over 180 entries, it’ll be interesting to see how Edgar, Jack and the team make their decision as to the overall winner.
I’m a runner up! Although I would have loved to have won the competition, it’s amazing to know that Edgar Wright chose it himself. Big props that he got so involved and for actually judging the posters himself, there are so many amazing entries so it’s great to have been picked out.
Another Editorial piece this time for finance and economics magazine RISK. Briefed quite strictly to mirror a classic Soviet feel-good propaganda poster but with Quants in place of the farmers, looking to the future with purpose and fortitude. Representing the movement of quants from the back rooms and basements into the front offices and client facing positions.
Here are some shots
Here's an illustration for business magazine Euromoney. It was briefed as a celebration that no one turned up to, showing a depressed Takehiko Nakao, President of the Asian Development Bank. I went with a pared down colour scheme highlighting the key features. The story was originally planned as a cover, which is why I've left spaces for the masthead and secondary headlines, but at the last minute the Euromoney went with a different cover story, which was a bit disappointing, but that's the way with current affairs ediorials, there's always next issue!
Here are some shots
At the end of last month I was approached by Closer Artists to help out with some urgent artwork they needed for Irit – an amazing singer who was releasing a new album and embarking on a tour.
Originally from Haifa, Irit grew up on a diet of jazz, classical, radio pop and the amazing rhythms of Ladino and in 2013 she released an album of jazz standards reinterpreted, winning critical acclaim and allowing her to tour Europe for the first time.
Whilst in London she met Jonathan Quarmby, fresh from producing the Mercury winning Benjamin Clementine album, and the two set to work crafting an album of 12 rhythmic, bright, colourful pop-influenced songs. I would call it up-tempo summer-time jazz with a latin underscore – and fits very well with Caro Emerald who she supporting on her current tour.
The album ‘Hello’ is driven by accordion, Latin guitar, trumpets and Irit’s effortless vocals. It’s an album that will sit comfortably between Astrid Gilberto, Beuna Vista Social Club and Christine and The Queens, be prepared to to be won over and say “hello” to Irit! She will also be in Brighton on the 14th April when Caro Emerald plays at the Brighton Centre.
Here's my illustrated portrait for the cover of POLITICO. It depicts Pierre Sellal, France's veteran ambassador to the European Union. The piece is a dedicated appraisal of Sellal – a top diplomat that France has relied on to keep everything operating smoothly within the EU. He is the man in the know and has for many years been the go to guy for french politicians who needed help with a European issue. He is however approaching retirement and the question is when he does stand down, what kind of ambassador will France put in his place? It would be hard to replace a like for like diplomat, or would a more modern representative than Sellal be better for a European Union that finds itself trying it's best to hold together, whilst so many would tear it apart.
I suggested that we depict Sellal in a very strong light wrapped in the Tricolor and what better way to show reverence to the great protector of France than in a statuesque pose set within a stained glass window? Inspired by many visits to Carcassonne in the past I felt that would be a great way to pay homage to the career of a man dedicated to his protection of France.
The use of stained glass also gave me the opportunity to seamlessly put in the french references that tie it all together.
Leaves turn and start to fall, the light gets warm and low, as cold winds start to blow, nature prepares for the finalé of another year, Autumn is here.
This is the first in my folklore series of prints, inspired by spirits, superstitions and myths – stories of wisps in the forest and the queen of the bees. This one tells the tale of Autumn's Song, changing the season and moving the year to it's end, with a chill in the air the wild world prepares to face the harsh winter that approaches.
It was really nice to hear BBC 6Music's Mary Anne Hobbs mention it on her show one weekend – she called it a gorgeous, absolutely exquisite illustration! Thanks Mary Anne.
This will be available as a limited run giclée print when I finish setting up my web store. Check back soon or follow me on twitter/instagram to be updated as to when it's available. In the mean time here are some detail shots...